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Old 11-18-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
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Do I need a nitrate filter???

I am new to salt tanks. I have started a 125 gallon fish/partial reef tank and have brown algae. I know vendors will say that I need a nitrate filter but do I really? Is it worth it for what they cost? Does it cut down on water changes that much and does it help to control the algae?
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:27 AM   #2
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I don't think you need one. Personally... I don't think anyone needs one if you maintain sane stocking levels and keep up with your maintenance. Water changes are doing more than just diluting nitrates - they're also replenishing elements in the water that are being consumed by corals in your tank. You want to do regular water changes, even if you nitrates are at zero.

Keeping your nitrates low does help reduce algae, but with good maintenance habits, you can do it without fancy reactors/filters.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:03 AM   #3
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I agree totally with Kurt. Maintenace and stock management will keep nitrates in check at 0 to very low levels.
PS: what do you mean by partial reef?
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Old 11-19-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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What I mean by partial reef is I have maybe 50 pounds of rock in a 125 gallon tank. I think my algae may be because I have been usiing tap water. Do I need to get a RO/DI unit? Do most guys use one of these?
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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The RO/DI will help by removing the phosphates and nitrates from the tapwater, as well as any metals, etc.

Your live rock would be your "nitrate filter". And your sump/refuge with macro algae, if you have one.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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First off Live rock will not reduce "Nitrates". 50#'s of lr(live rock) in a 125g is callled a "fish only with live rock(FOWLR) and you don't need a nitrate filter for that. Fish can tolerate nitrates much better then corals. But the less nitrates you have the better for your tanks inhabitants. Partial water changes (PWC) is a good way to reduce nitrates and as Kurt stated you don't need a nitrate filter. Take it slow and get your basics down and you should be okay. Remember "Only bad things happen fast in a Saltwater (SW) tank".
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thincat View Post
First off Live rock will not reduce "Nitrates". 50#'s of lr(live rock)
Duh!! I was thinking of the nitrate cycle. It was early and I didn't have my coffee
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:19 PM   #8
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I don't know about salt water that much so I am not sure if this applies, but to reduce nitrates in a freshwater tank I put some English ivy into my HOB filter. It works great and is much better than any type of filtration I have used. Roots work as a mechanical filtration, and I hardly every need to clean out the filter because the ivy uses all the junk the roots catch to grow. Anyways I don't know if this applies or can be done in a saltwater tank but it might be an idea.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:00 AM   #9
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Yes we do a something like that. I have some Mangroves...6. and I also use chaeto in my sump. The mangroves and chaeto use the nitrates to grow and all you have to do is prune them. I believe that mangroves grow to slow to be of much help, but the chaeto works wonders. I also have a DSB (deep 4" sand bed) and that is my main reason I have had 0 nitrates for the past year. When the deep sand bed kicked in it was a site to see. Freaked me out as I watched all the nitrogen bubbles purculating out of my sand. It took
Three months to kick in.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:18 AM   #10
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My sand bed is about 2 inches of live sand, is it worth getting more? Also, I just installed a RO/DI for my water changes.
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